Stockbrokers used social media website LinkedIn to crack the alleged Australian $7 million insider trading case.
Two Victorian men, National Australia Bank associate director Lukas Kamay and Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) employee Christopher Hill, are accused of insider trading in an elaborate scam that involved using ABS data.
Fairfax reports that the foreign exchange brokers who were handling 26-year-old Kamay’s account noticed a discrepancy with large bets made on the Australian dollar minutes, or even seconds, before significant ABS economic announcements.
Kerr’s team used LinkedIn to connect Kamay to ABS employee Hill.
“That was when it suddenly clicked that this guy was only trading ABS data and had a man on the inside,” broker Owen Kerr told Fairfax Media.
The finding triggered a nine-month surveillance operation ending with eight warrants in Canberra and Melbourne on Friday in relation to the $7 million trading scandal.
The men’s assets have been frozen by the Australian Federal Police and Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
This includes Kamay’s purchase of the $2.4 million three-bedroom loft apartment in Melbourne’s Albert Park designed by twins Alisa and Lysandra Fraser as part of Channel 9 reality TV show The Block.
Kamay is reported to have put a $500,000 deposit on the fully-furnished luxury property for which he paid $616,000 above the reserve price.
Fairfax reports Kamay allegedly offered the ABS employee $50,000 bribes to disclose the inside information.
Kamay faced the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court on Friday on seven criminal charges while 24-year-old Hill faced five criminal charges.
On Twitter the LinkedIn connection was met with some mirth about the social media site.
The real story in this insider trading yarn is that somebody found a purpose for LinkedIn.
— Erik Jensen (@ErikOJensen) May 11, 2014